The Acid Test Graduation was planned for Halloween night in 1966 with the Grateful Dead on the stage. Things didn’t turn out as planned because Bill Graham, who was promoting the event, got wind of a plan to dose everything at the event with LSD. A decision was made to cancel the event, at least at Winterland, and the Dead wound up playing at the California Hall that night. The Graduation was held in a warehouse decorated with wall hangings, and Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters were all in attendance. The Anonymous Artists of America provided the music, and all in all, the affair was very low key; not the orgy of drugs and sex that Graham had feared.
Zane Kesey has some film footage of the affair where Neal Cassady is on stage handing out diplomas to the faithful Pranksters. Both the diplomas and the poster are extremely rare and highly sought-after.
The original poster was printed on thin white stock and measures approximately 12″ x 20″. As noted above, this poster is extremely rare and any copy should be examined by an expert to verify its authenticity. As a point of reference, a fairly trashed copy that was missing a couple of corners and had numerous tack holes as well as being very off-color sold at auction for $15,400 in September, 2008.
This poster has been reprinted by Zane Kesey, but measures approximately 11″ x17″.